The combination of civilian police officers and military police personnel to staff the Marine Corps Police Department provides an enhanced law enforcement presence aboard the Marine Corps Logistics Base in Barstow, Calif. .
Captain Mark Machado, Chief of Police and Provost of MCLB Barstow, oversaw the influx of Marine Corps Military Police from surrendered MP battalions as well as MPs directly from the Military Police Academy of the American army.
“Right now we have 12 deputies there, 10 of which are part of the patrol force and we have two military working dog handlers,” he said. “With the exception of two MPs from Okinawa, Japan, the others are from USAMPS in Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, and this is their first duty post.”
Machado said most of the deputies coming from the school arrive aboard the base with all the certifications they need to begin training with the department’s field training officers. This saves a lot of time by patrolling them and equipping the doors on the Nebo and Yermo sides of the base.
“With the civilian police, we have to go through the hiring process, then send them for three months to the civilian police academy, which is also at USAMPS, and then take them through the four-month training period with their FTO before they can operate independently, ”he said.
“The Marines hold key positions at the lower levels when it comes to doors,” Machado said. “They are very hard workers and eager to learn. This ensures that the safety we provide on board MCLB Barstow remains at the highest possible level. “
“Prior to the surrender of MP battalions at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton and Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, the Fleet Assistance Program would send Marines to large bases requiring additional law enforcement personnel, but they didn’t would not necessarily have the official law enforcement army. Professional specialty, ”he explained.
When all FAP positions in the Corps are filled by MPs and civilian police, Marines working under the FAP would be returned to the fleet to bolster the numbers, the captain said.
When all 22 MP positions are filled aboard MCLB Barstow, the Provost Marshal will have the flexibility he needs to fill shifts suddenly reduced by officers who may contract COVID or other illnesses, or who may be deployed themselves.
“They are very hard workers and eager to learn. This ensures that the safety we provide on board MCLB Barstow remains at the highest possible level. “ Captain Mark Machado, MCLB Barstow Police Chief
“Civilian policemen serve six months by day and six months by night,” Machado said. “MPs, however, are not subject to the stipulations of the law enforcement unions, so I can take an MP from the night shift and put him on the day shift without having to go through the union. , which saves a lot of time and ensures the security of our base. at high levels.
Large Marine Corps bases typically have two MPs on patrol or two civilian police on patrol, but Machado changed that to a combined team.
“I did it on that basis because I wanted a fully integrated force. The Marines working with the FTOs allow them both to learn from each other, ”he said.
Lance Cpl. Anya Hunter is one of the new MPs aboard the base, coming directly from USAMPS to her first duty station at MCLB Barstow.
“I think the civilian police department has very good police officers,” she said. “Civilian OPs have a different way of seeing things than MPs because they are civilians,” Hunter said.
“The combination of civilian OPs and Marine law enforcement deputies helps me learn to better communicate with civilians I may encounter on the job. Being from the culture of the Marine Corps, I can already work with the Marines I meet, ”she added. “I think the Marines appreciate having an MP on the base.”
“I think having MPs on calls involving Navy personnel sets a calmer tone because the Navy thinks ‘I’m talking to another Navy rather than a civilian OP,’ Machado agreed.
“I think it’s great that the two forces have been combined,” said the chief. “It made MCLB Barstow a better environment. In the past, the Corps hasn’t sent a lot of Marines here, but I appreciate the Corps starting to send more Marines to MCLB Barstow again, as it really improves the base. and represents for those off the wire more of what a Marine base should look like. “